An Opinion Poll.

In a month Adam and I will have been living together for a year.

In just four months we’ll have been a couple for two.

It’s a pretty amazing relationship.

He will tell you that I’m pretty much laid back.  Not much bothers me.  I tend to let him have his own way.  We watch his TV shows.  We see his movies.  We go to his restaurants.  It’s not that I’m soft.  Or don’t have an opinion.  Or won’t stand up for myself.  It’s really a two parter.  Sometime I don’t care one way or another and sometimes I just want to make him happy.

If it’s something I fell strongly about I speak up.  I wanted to sit and have a glass of wine before the show we saw on Saturday.  He didn’t.  I insisted.  Now he thinks I have a drinking problem.  That’s another post though.

When it’s something I feel strongly about though, I speak up.  Loudly.  I don’t yell.  But I make it clear that I don’t agree.

On Saturday night I made that stand.

Adam and I have scheduled out calendar all the way through the end of January.

For Thanksgiving, I have to work in the a.m.  I have to work it to get off for Christmas.  Thanksgiving night we are having dinner at home.  Alone.  We both agreed that’s what we wanted to do.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we are decorating for Christmas.

On Sunday night I fly to San Diego to do a show.

That was the plan.

Until.

Adam’s father called to say that he and Adam’s stepmom were coming to Philadelphia for Thanksgiving and would like us to come down and join them.

Hmm.

It kind of screws with our plans but what are plans for if not to reschedule.  (Just for the record, if Adam had made the plans and they were being changed he’d freak out…but once again that’s another post.)

I really don’t want to travel on Thanksgiving.  I have to work.  And I don’t want to eat in a restaurant when I’m dating the best cook I know.  I want dinner at home.

So I suggested that Adam invite his family to our place for dinner.  Philadelphia is only about two hours from the city and on Thanksgiving traffic would not be a problem.  They could have dinner with us, and then on Friday we’d all go to Philly for the weekend.

Adam thought this was a good idea.

HIS FATHER DID NOT!

Seems that his father and step mom don’t want to come have dinner with us.

When I heard this my head exploded.

WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!

You mean that THEY are willing to come all the way to Philadelphia and are NOT willing to come two more hours to have dinner with us.  You can’t come into the city to see where we live?  Where we share our lives together?

REALLY?

REALLY!

I sort of lost my cool.  And I wasn’t very supportive.  I’ve apologized since.

But here is the deal.

I’d never forgive my family if they came this close to me and didn’t visit.  I also don’t want to make changes to my weekend and my plans to accommodate them when they can’t make changes to accommodate us.

I told Adam on Saturday night that if that’s the way they felt then fine.  But don’t expect me to go to them.  If they can’t see us, then I’m not going to spend money to see them.

It’s a fucking HOLIDAY for christ sake.

Why should we change our plans, spend money we don’t have to go visit people that WON’T come to our house.

It actually makes me reconsider whether I want to go to their house for Xmas.  It will cost us about 1300 dollars just to get to Texas for Christmas.  And they can’t spend 15 dollars each to ride the bus to NYC?

So.

Am I over reacting?

I know that I was probably out of line on Saturday.  It made me mad.  Once I cooled off I apologized.  But I still don’t know how to feel about all of this.  I just think they are being silly.  And it’s actually hard NOT to take this personally.  Are they not comfortable in our home.  Do they not approve of our relationship?  What’s the deal?

So.

How would you respond?

Now.

How would you respond without having your boyfriend break up with you?

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6 thoughts on “An Opinion Poll.

  1. Lemuel August 31, 2010 / 05:52

    Yes, that twist in the last question is significant.

    I also wondered why they responded to your invitation as they did – wondering if it is disapproval of your relationship.

    It is unfortunate that you lost your cool, because I think your suggestion is the most rational since you have to work so that you can visit them at Christmas. There is good public transportation between Phila and NYC and it should not be too crowded on TG. You are also agreeing to join them in Phila for the rest of that weekend.

    But I will share with you that I lost my own version of your discussion 40 years ago. My/our discussion was about Christmas. Her family [clan] “always”* got together (in an expensive restaurant) on Christmas Day. (*I discovered many years later that the custom at that point had not been in place for only a couple of years.) And her mother (then 55) “may not be around much longer”. So I ended up giving up *all* Christmases with my family. There was never consideration given to alternate years or other alternate suggestion. I spent enough each year for my family of four as I would have spent to feed the entire clan! The kicker was that her mom lived to be 98. My dad lived to be 70 and my mom 78.

    Unfortunately the whole thing has been a bone of contention throughout our marriage.

    This discussion is one of those that becomes the real test of relationships: the relationship between you and Adam, between Adam and his folks, between you and his folks. It will reveal how you resolve conflict and how you forgive each other and even how you view yourself. It will not necessarily be decided by the actual merits of the suggestions for solutions. It is not an affair of the mind; it is an affair of the heart.

    I send my best wishes to you and Adam as you work this out. Although I understand the tough position that this situation puts you in, I think that Adam is the one who is really caught between a rock and a hard place. Since he is not the one asking for our opinions, I will not give my suggestion to him. In one sense I think you need to stand your ground, but in another sense – if you truly love Adam – I would hope that you would be sensitive to the tough position that his parents have placed him in. It is a battle of wills and as it stands now (without resolution) they are asking him to choose between them and you. Try to understand that. Try to understand what that also means for you and Adam and for your future.

  2. Sarah August 31, 2010 / 10:20

    At first, I was on the side of you are over-reacting. It’s not a big deal to go to Philly either on Thanksgiving. However, if you have to work in the AM and you don’t want to deal with a four hour round trip commute after what is probably going to be a crappy shift, I get it. However, when you brought up the $1300 required to visit them, well, it seemed a bit unfair that they wouldn’t pony up the cost for a bus/train/parking lot to come visit you guys.

    Are they meeting other relatives in Philly? I could understand if they had plans with other people there but if they are just hanging by themselves, it’s sort of weird (unless they hate, hate, hate NYC which I understand some people actually do).

    I think it’s fair to not change your plans based on the fact that you have to work on Thanksgiving.

  3. catrina August 31, 2010 / 21:10

    I am quite lucky–my hubby’s from a big family (seven siblings), and none of them get along. So for 25 years we’ve spent every holiday with my family.
    But as for your situation, how does Adam feel? Would he like his parents to come to NYC? Was he hurt/angry at his dad’s response? And why the hell do you have to fork out $1300 to go to Texas a month later?
    The bitch in me would say that if they can’t come two hours to you, you’ll definitely go to them in Philly—but you won’t be making the trip to Texas. Then you and Adam start your OWN holiday tradition of doing whatever the hell you want to!

  4. Urspo August 31, 2010 / 23:13

    This is one of those ticklish situations where I think you are technically correct, but might want to go along with this, out of charity. Miss Manners I think would be totally on your side – when plans are made people joining the plans should accommodate to those original plans.

    However, with relationships it gets more complicated. you are in a new relationship still working out dynamics with the in-laws etc. biting the bullet and braving this request would be noble of you. It gives you the firm etiquette advantage that next year the meal is at your house, they are invited, you do hope they will come to it.

  5. Rich Monsoon September 1, 2010 / 00:22

    I don’t think you were over reacting, though I personally do not look forward to spending holidays with my family. I cannot spend them with my mother,I would go insane.

  6. dirkmancuso September 7, 2010 / 10:01

    Were you right to be pissed off? Without a doubt.

    Is it worth blowing up and causing a potential rift with Adam? In the bigger picture, no.

    Yeah, their attitude sucks but if you love Adam (and I know you do), then sometimes you just have to suck that shit up, take a deep breath, and bite your tongue. In half, if need be.

    Who knows, maybe you’ll discover they had some insanely understandable and completely justified reason for refusing to join you at your place (although probably not).

    Big hugs for doing what was right for your man.

    (And reading this makes me glad in some ways that Tristan and I will never meet each other’s families, although it does suck that we don’t get to spend the holidays together…)

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